It was in January 2005, when I—a planetary geologist only recently turned to writing about space for a living—was crammed along with two dozen other reporters into a room at the European Space Agency operations center in Germany.
Europe's Huygens probe had just completed its descent through Titan's atmosphere, and we knew the spacecraft had been working ESA had received its radio transmissions. But there was a delay and the pictures ...more »
Here's how Planetary Society Members answered...
Click through to read the full submission and comment.
What do you want to see next in space exploration?
Before the great Deep Field Views from Hubble were released my image of choice would have been one of a great spiral galaxy. The Deep Field Views blew me away, however, when they so absolutely and forever showed the insignificance of even one of those great galaxies with respect to the universe. The Deep Field Views display the awe-inspiring magnificence of the universe we live in. I envy those from ... more »
It all started for me in high school. I lived in New Orleans in an area that had a lot of families whose parents worked in the areospace business either at NASA Michoud or Stenis Space Centers. I watched and read everything and anything associated with space or aerospace technology. In the summer of 1965 I was lucky enought to get a part-time summer job with Chrysler Aerospace wooking at ... more »
The space image(s) that inspired me most, are probably the ones sent back by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes.
The took pictures of the outer planets and their moons, and sent back other data to be studied by scientists here on Earth. As one of the scientists who worked on the project for 10 years said, it was the most interesting job of her career. I don't blame ... more »
My latest favorite image is this collapsed roof of a lunar lava tube. This photo put my imagination to work. The camera is pointed down at almost the same angle as the sun, illuminating a portion of the floor. Debris, perhaps the roof, can be seen where it fell eons ago. The exposed lava tube became two cave entrances, perhaps appropriate for human shelter. Several of these pits have been ... more »
I grew up watching the Apollo missions on TV with my father, but I was too young to really grasp the amazing character of what they were doing. Viking was "my" mission, a tour de force with orbiters and landers. Human devices, landing on another world! On my bedroom wall, I had a poster with a panorama from one of the landers. What really made that image meaningful was the ... more »
I have been a space enthusiast forever, maybe since my primary school presentation on Black Holes, maybe since reading my first Science Fiction book about Quasars, but my revelation only really came about last year, at the end of 2012.
I was on an exchange semester in Beijing, China, and this had two space-related consequences on me:
First, I discovered the ambitious Chinese space program, something very different from the traditional NASA-stuff: ... more »
I was a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember; but then one day when I was about 9 or so (not too long after seeing "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" on late-night TV for the first time), the Viking lander images from Mars came in. They were all over the media. And I was, as a 9 year old scifi nerd, assuredly captivated.
No other view of the Earth has topped the one taken by the geologist/astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt on the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon. The nighttime launch from Cape Canaveral allowed him to capture the full illuminated disk of the Earth with his Hasselblad camera, showing, in stunning clarity what the famous architect Buckminster Fuller referred to as "Spaceship Earth!" It was the iconic image for Earth Day and ... more »
The circumstances of my story aren't quite as prestigious as yours, Emily, since they all happened in a small town in Ohio 49 years ago -- from the winter of 1964 to the summer of 1965 when I was 15 years old. My friend and next-door neighbor were big space enthusiasts and we were anticipating the very first close-up images of Mars from Mariner 4. We made a countdown calendar ... more »
The 'tiny blue dot' image is one of the most powerful images I have ever seen. Now when I think of it I remember Carl and how much he did to help us all see ourselves and the world a bit more as it is than how we once thought it might be.
This happened in the mid-fifties, I was 12 then. Mad about geography, I would read all the books on the subject I would get my hands on – unfortunately they were not many – studying countries, borders, towns, climates, mountains and rivers, and of course the peoples living there and their History. The immensity of the oceans astounded me, so great that no one would ever be able to pollute ... more »
Well Emily, you asked. Alas, it's not really a picture of space. It's a picture of a model, probably hanging on wires, on top of a rough artist's conception of a non-existent planet on a black background with a couple of stars. Nevertheless, this is the picture I saw in the opening credits of a limited-run television series that had a large part in warping me as a child. (Pun ... more »
For me was a turning moment I will never forget. I was eleven years old and I remember exactly where I was, I remember exactly with whom I was. All my closest relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandpa and grandma, the sense of awe and expectation. I remember clearly those black and white, quite difficult to figure out images on my family TV set. And over all, I remember it was ... more »
Rather than an event from space the event that impressed me most was the video of the ecstatic reaction of the NASA personnel when they received confirmation that they were successful and were receiving photos from the Mars lander. (Opportunity)